Crispy Air Fryer Cauliflower

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This post was first published on Delightfully Low Carb.

Crispy Air Fryer Cauliflower is so easy to make in the air fryer and it’s a great healthy side dish or snack that makes cauliflower taste like a treat.

» Try these other great air fryer recipes: air fryer asparagus and air fryer shrimp.

Cauliflower dipped in sauce

We make a lot of cauliflower around here because popping it in the air fryer to crisp it up is so fast and tasty. It makes the perfect side dish for just about any meal, so it’s a definitely go-to. This air fryer broccoli can be made the same way.

I’ve always been a big fan of roasted cauliflower. It brings out the sweet flavor of the veggie and makes it almost addictive to eat, unlike it’s raw self. Seriously, unless I’m dipping it in Ranch dressing, I really don’t want to eat raw cauliflower. Air Fryer Cauliflower, on the other hand, is a recurring star on our dinner table.

You’ll see why once you’ve made a batch of crispy air fryer cauliflower. It takes just 10 minutes to make this tasty side dish. You can dress it up with any dip you want, or add seasonings like Cajun seasoning, Za’atar, or Chinese Five Spice, which ensures that your cauliflower will never be boring.

cooked cauliflower

Air Fryer Cauliflower is the perfect low-carb and keto friendly snack because there’s nothing to it but the vegetable itself. The air fryer allows you to achieve crispy roasted cauliflower without any oil or breading.

Try these Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower bites for something a little different.

Ingredients in Crispy Cauliflower

The dry seasoning mix is what adds the flavor to this recipe. The great thing about this mix is that all of these spices are common ingredients that you probably have in your spice rack.

  • Cauliflower
  • Paprika
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Chili Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Mustard Powder

Why Use an Air Fryer

An air fryer is an incredibly easy way to cook just about anything. You place the food in a fryer-style basket and hot air rapidly circulates all around the food, making the food crisp – much like deep-frying, but without the oil. You can cook anything you’d make in the oven.

Ninja Max XL

How to Make Crispy Cauliflower in the Air Fryer

The most important first step is to cut the cauliflower into uniformly small pieces. Large pieces take longer to cook and aren’t as fun to eat. Cut them into single florets or to bite-sized. And make them all the same size so they cook at the same speed.

Sprinkle as much of the seasoning as you want onto the cauliflower, making sure to coat both sides.

seasoned raw cauliflower

If you don’t want to mix up a seasoning from scratch, you can use any seasoning salt or seasoning mix you have on hand. Lowry’s seasoning salt is a great choice. We have a great recipe for homemade dry rub seasoning on our sister site: here’s the recipe.

Toss the cauliflower to make sure the seasoning makes it onto each piece.

Then add the cauliflower to the air fryer. Most air fryers can accommodate up to 3 cups. If yours can’t, you might need to make it in two batches. Don’t overcrowd the basket.

You want the air to circulate to make each piece crispy. Set the air fryer to 400 degrees. The cauliflower will cook for 5 minutes, flip them over and cook for 5 more minutes. Its that easy!

cooked cauliflower in air fryer

What Oil & Oil Sprayer is Best for the Air Fryer?

The biggest issue most air fryer lovers face is finding the right oil and oil sprayer to use on food cooked in the air fryer. A fine mist of oil will help the entire piece of food crisp evenly, so it’s very important.

My personal preference is to use canola oil, extra virgin olive oil, or avocado oil. I use both a refillable spray bottle like the Evo one pictured below and non-propellant extra virgin olive oil, which has no harmful aerosols or chemicals.

Evo Oil Sprayer Evo Glass Trigger Sprayer Bottle, Non-Aerosol for Olive Cooking Oils, 6-Ounce Capacity, 6 oz, Yellow/Black/Red
Pompeian USDA Certified Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil Non-Stick Cooking Spray, Full-Bodied Flavor, Perfect for Salads and Pasta Drizzling, Naturally Gluten Free, Non-Allergenic, Non-GMO, No Propellants, 5 FL. OZ., Single Bottle
Tenlary Oil Sprayer for Cooking - 210ml Glass Olive Oil Dispenser Bottle Spray Mister-Reusable Food Grade Oil Vinegar Spritzer Sprayer Bottles,kitchen Gadgets Accessories for Air Fryer,BBQ (Orange)

Sauces for Air Fryer Cauliflower

If you’re planning to serve this air fryer cauliflower as a snack or appetizer, you have to have a dipping sauce. That’s what makes it so fun.

There are a lot of great choices, because cauliflower goes with just about anything. Try our honey mustard, Ranch dressing, BBQ Sauce, or our favorite Yum Yum Sauce.

In the picture above, we’re dipping our cauliflower in Bang Bang sauce, which we also serve with Air Fryer Bang Bang Shrimp.

finished cauliflower

Air Fryer Cauliflower Frequently Asked Questions

Why is My Cauliflower Coming Out Soggy?

You may be overcrowding the basket. The air needs to have room to circulate around each piece of cauliflower. You might need to add a few more minutes of cooking time.

Can I Use Frozen Cauliflower?

Yes, and you don’t even have to thaw it first. Just spray it with oil and shake on some seasoning and you are ready to go. Keep in mind that the cooking time will be slightly longer. Cook it for initial 10 minutes shaking the basket half way then add 3 minutes and check again.

Should I Pre-Heat My Air Fryer?

There is some debate or whether it is needed or not. Pre-heating is not going to make or break how your food comes out. But, if you think of it as a tiny oven then you may want to pre-heat since that is the first step in baking most things.

If you want to pre-heat your air fryer before use set it to the appropriate cooking temperate and run for 3-5 minutes. Whether you pre-heat or not be aware that it may affect your total cooking time so keep an eye on your food.

More Great Air Fryer Snacks

Air fryer snacks can be easy to make and the perfect crunchy bite to satisfy any guest. This list is just a few of our favorite snacks.


5 from 117 votes
Air Fryer Potato Wedges
4.9 from 31 votes
Air Fryer Crispy Breaded Mushrooms

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air fryer crispy cauliflower

Crispy Air Fryer Cauliflower

Crispy Air Fryer Cauliflower is so easy to make in the air fryer and it's a great healthy side dish.
4.3 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 26 kcal



  • 1 head cauliflower cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon mild chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder


  • Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces.
  • Combine the seasonings in a bowl.
  • Sprinkle the seasoning mix onto the cauliflower and spread it out in the air fryer basket. Spray lightly with cooking oil.
  • Set the air fryer to 400 degrees and cook for 10 minutes. Flip the pieces at the halfway point.


  • Cooking times vary from model to model. Check cauliflower half way through and adjust time to your preference.

All air fryers have different wattage and may cook at different rates. You may need to adjust the time or temp for the best results.


Calories: 26kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 2gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 30mgPotassium: 294mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 51IUVitamin C: 47mgCalcium: 23mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Air Fryer, Cauliflower
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crispy air fryer cauliflower

15 thoughts on “Crispy Air Fryer Cauliflower

  1. Catherine says:

    5 stars
    I wish I had this to snack on right now! I don’t have an air fryer sadly but these look so delicious!

  2. Emily says:

    5 stars
    This crispy air fryer recipe is so delicious! The dry rub is so flavorful and the method to make this is so simple!

  3. Angela says:

    5 stars
    These are super addicting! Loving all of the flavors and super impressed with how crispy these came out. So good, will definitely make again!

  4. Aimee Mars says:

    5 stars
    I’ve never tried cauliflower in the air fryer. Would you say it comes out crunchy like a chip or is it crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside? I bet my family would love this recipe.

    • Angela says:

      Hi Aimee, it comes out crisp on the outside and softer on the inside. My kids love it! I think your family will to. 🙂

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